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How Amazon's Ebook Subscriptions Are Changing the Writing Industry

ThomasBHardy I love Shashdotters, but.... (250 comments)

I love Slashdot and Slashdotters. But in this case I'm kind of taken back by the responses.

Being married to an Author and knowing many, many authors, I can point out a few things:

Most authors, beyond the "super big names" struggle to make even a moderate living off of their books. When these folks try out a new system like the Amazon plan, and they find the are making less, we're not talking about folks who used to make 3 million, now only making 2.5 million. We're talking about someone who might be making for example 30k per yea,r making so much less that they are forced to cease writing as a vocation.. It's directly impactful, and the impact is not tied to quality of the book. Rather, the impact is books with catchy titles and sales pitches getting more downloads and making more money, regardless of quality. "hey, it's free, I'll click that since there's no downside to me for doing so." This leads to other books making less of the allotted bucket of funds. When spending money on books, folks tend to check reviews, read the sample download or use various criteria to filter down their selection to what they enjoy reading. So better books get rewarded. With the new plan, shotgun approaches become the norm.

Lets try it another way. Say tomorrow, there was one major store through which the majority of all software (personal, business, etc.) and all IT services (Ops, support, admin, etc, each treated as a service ticket item) were offered and the owners of that store decided "Forget what people pay today for software and services, we'll sell them anything and everything for $10 a month and just divvy up profits as we see fit, And we'll do it without reporting to anyone how the process works or what actual counts occurred, we'll just send them a check."

How would you feel about that when it was your app that you worked for a year and you usually make about $50k per year. But now when another app AngryBirds sells 30 million copies, your get a check for $5 for the month for your app despite people still downloading downloading it because statistically it's insignificant?

Or how about your IT job that you now get paid 1$ per service ticket because a billion other service tickets get processed as well? Did you enjoy working all day for $20?

While it's easy to assume that anything cheaper is better, remember to take into account that the cheaper may be coming at the actual workers pocket. I'd expected to see Slashdotters more upset at the middleman holding the actual workers over a barrel.

about a month ago

How Amazon's Ebook Subscriptions Are Changing the Writing Industry

ThomasBHardy Re:iBooks (250 comments)

I wasn't aware that iTunes offered an all-you-can-eat access to music.

about a month ago

How To End Online Harassment

ThomasBHardy Goals versus Results, Idea versus Reality (834 comments)

Comments from a bystander:

I think everyone should accept that:
          Some GamerGaters are behaving in an anti-women fashion and this is blatantly unacceptable to anyone with a modicum of decency.
          Some GamerGaters have some social issues to discuss that are not necessarily anti-women and agree or not, they have a right to be heard.

But it's all one big mess.

Gamergate seems to me to suffer from some of the same issues that the Occupy movement suffered from. There's no leadership. There's noone to set an agenda and keep folks in line and take actions where necessary to protect the cause from being abused. There's noone taking the stand and getting in front of the media and the people and saying "Respect for everyone comes first, we condemn anti-woman actions and threatening behavior. Our goals can only be realized through peaceful dialog."

I'm not suggesting that I agree with GamerGate. Frankly I have a hard time getting a clear handle on what they really want as their message is a cacophony mixing the good and the bad. After 5 minutes of looking up information, I have the same reaction that many probably have: "Careful, don't get any on you".

While I support freedom of speech and the right to discuss social issues, if your movement is mired in self-destructive issues, you need to either get someone in charge and clean house or you need to cut your ties and start over somewhere else where the message can stay clear.

I think what they have now is too far gone to salvage anything positive. But without leadership there's no decisions being made to correct the core issues. When your group looks like a mob, screams like a mob and behaves like a mob... you might have a mob on your hands. That's never a good thing.

about 3 months ago

Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Breached

ThomasBHardy How I hear things in my head when I read this (265 comments)

CurrentC Spokesman: Hello everyone, We're CurrentC. Screw Apple Pay and it's 1 million users! We're gonna go head-to-head with a major technology company using our tried and true 40 year old technology. Sure, all of our members have had huge data breaches in the past year but we're serious about it now and we're doing it right, for you, our customer. Trust us!

Spectator: Umm, you dropped something there -points at ground-

CurrentC Spokesman: Awww, Mother Pussbucket #*@^% #$)!( , @*!))(!

about 2 months ago

Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

ThomasBHardy Re:Not a chance (631 comments)

Sorry to go off topic but my wife and I had a good laugh at your sig,.

about 3 months ago

Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

ThomasBHardy Not a chance (631 comments)

I wont be giving away access to my bank accounts. Sorry, not gonna happen.

And the next time they have a data breach?

That's just full of "Nope!"

about 3 months ago

Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

ThomasBHardy Blockbuster runs libraries now? (398 comments)

We saw how that approached worked out for them in video.

about 3 months ago

Despite Patent Settlement, Apple Pulls Bose Merchandise From Its Stores

ThomasBHardy Re:Why would Apple continue selling Bose products? (328 comments)

There's a chance it goes deeper than that.

Not only did Bose sue Apple after Apple acquired beats, but they also started playing dirty pool with tactics like the NFL headphone rigamarole. Apparently something about Beats + Apple sent Bose into the heavy offensive strategy. Now Bose has to fight the fight that they started.

about 3 months ago

NVIDIA Launches Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970 GPUs

ThomasBHardy What we need here... (125 comments)

Is mod point for articles themselves.

Imagine the possibilities.

about 4 months ago

Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

ThomasBHardy Google should charge them for it (346 comments)

Google has no fault in this scenario. GS has the problem, they want Google to help them out.

Instead of stating no, Google should have asked :"whats it worth to you?"

Google is a business, this is a service that they do not offer. you want a custom one-time service offering? Sure thing. Let me run some numbers on that and check your credit score and I'll get back to you.

If GS gets a court order and Google has to do this and they get nothing for it, then the situation is even more screwed up.

about 7 months ago

Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

ThomasBHardy Re:If some idiot leaves a space heater running 24/ (349 comments)

I have a hard time equating the cost center of a power company generating finite amounts of power that is sold to users with the "mostly fixed and generally stable" cost of maintaining connectivity for the IPSs.

You do realize that we're not "consuming 1s and 0s that the ISP has to go out and manufacture, right?

I'm not suggesting that every person should have the ability to have unlimited speed and unlimited capacity(bandwidth), but lets not paint a picture of US IPSs as working tirelessly to upgrade infrastructure and provide lower cost, improved service. It's not a competitive market, driving towards improvement. It's in their best interest to raise prices any way they can, such as through caps. It's Not in their interest to spend billions on new infrastructure to improve services and lower consumer costs, because they have no true competition driving market forces to make them improve.

about 7 months ago

US Wants To Build 'Internet of Postal Things'

ThomasBHardy Re:Reasons to use Snail Mail (113 comments)

We have a trash can in the garage, everything that's not actual relevant mail (bills, etc.) goes straight into the can without it ever entering the house. What a waste of paper, money, ink, human labor, etc.

about 7 months ago

Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

ThomasBHardy You get what you measure (309 comments)

The trick is to know how to accurately measure what you want to get.

If we want a test that validates human-like behavior in an AI, then the test criteria must rigorously define what that condition is. Tricking a single person in a subjective test is terribly skewed.

about 8 months ago

Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

ThomasBHardy You have time, move the revenue... (626 comments)

It's not like driver less cars will come out on June 1st and by end of year the entire population will have one.

If they are collecting that much per officer on average, then the solution presents itself...

1) Start reducing police forces as the gradual introduction of driverless cars comes and requires less policing
2) Transition police self-support income to increased tickets in other areas such as littering, domestic issues and other activities to replace only the necessary income required to operate the police.
3) Local governments currently using ticket income (which is an abuse no matter how you look at it) have a gradual decline to seek efficiencies or other income.

Local governments financing themselves off of ticketing is essentially funding government via a stupid tax (stupid enough to drive too fast, get a ticket). So while I have mixed emotions about the kismet portion of that scenario, it's still not a fair and just solution.

about 8 months ago

US To Charge Chinese Military Employees With Hacking

ThomasBHardy Do as I say, not... (225 comments)

Does anyone else find this particularly ironic and posturing after the "Cisco Complains To Obama About NSA Adding Spyware To Routers" article earlier?

about 8 months ago

Autonomous Car Ethics: If a Crash Is Unavoidable, What Does It Hit?

ThomasBHardy It's not a black and white decision (800 comments)

Assuming a collision is unavoidable, and the choice are Car A or B, it's not just a matter of choosing one or the other car to hit.

The logic should be actively working to avoid collision until the last second. The car cannot anticipate what actions the other vehicles may take. Until the actual collision occurs, maintain efforts to minimize the velocity and/or angel of collision. Better to hit the little electric car at 15 MPH after continuing to brake than to have hit the sturdy Escalade at 40 MPH.

Additionally, are there not some foundation rules that apply? We're taught that when in doubt, try and stay in your own lane, because hitting a car that suddenly pulled out in front of you is "less bad" than swerving into another lane and hitting a car that was obeying all of the rules. The basic scenarios need to be worked out and applied as much as possible. (not to mention the whole "oncoming car will be a much worse accident than a car traveling in the same direction as you are but at a different speed" scenario)

I think the scenario being postulated is a bit simplistic and meant to drive an ethics debate for attention. In reality this should be about improving the programs to the point of making the right choices based on more common sense rules than those proposed.

about 9 months ago

$42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

ThomasBHardy Re:I make prosthetics for a living. (288 comments)

-sigh- bad day not to have any mod points

Thanks for posting an informed, reasonable response.

about 9 months ago


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